Millennials are the largest living generation with more spending power and a major role to play in determining the pop culture and trends. They are also known as the food generation. When they set trends, businesses quickly shift their attention towards the millennial culture. These young minds have distinct eating habits that the media and researchers analyze and follow. They have appropriated new traits and habits due to the digital revolution they have witnessed. This immense interest in discussing food choices makes social media the perfect platform for businesses to find inspiration for new products, and track popular millennial trends. Millennials on social media tend to incline towards certain values. Reading full labels and online reviews, tempted by food photography, being open to new cuisines, has changed the food culture. Growing up in the midst of an obesity crisis, they are obsessed with healthy lifestyles and saving the environment.
Research by Sodexo, a global food and facilities management company with a remarkable presence in India, studied the food habits of the urban millennial consumers in India, China, and Australia. The research was a mixture of qualitative and quantitative analysis. It skimmed through general food consumption and food habits in an office environment and identified various types of food consumers. They realized that millennials are not all the same. Instead, they represent a broad and diverse generation of people, with matching differences and similarities.
The first type of consumers is the ones who seek variety in whatever they consume. As much as they are fond of different cuisines, they are also focused on taste.
The second consumer type identifies as the health-conscious consumer. This type defines healthy food in terms of ingredients, cooking methods and nutrition. They are always searching for information on the latest. Taste and variety don’t matter to this consumer type. They are constantly searching for information on the latest trending foods.
The third consumer type is pragmatists who eat to satisfy hunger. They like variety but also look for consistency in taste, looking at the food from a value perspective.
Now here comes the master question, what do millennials actually prefer eating? The said generation is diverse and varied in their tastes like any other generation. Following are three common food trends that millennials discuss online:
- Convenient and health food Millennials look for high-quality food options that take less time preparing and ordering and that fit their wallet.
- Low calorie, yet high protein snacks Munching on things like nuts, trail mix, and lean meat reflects a commitment towards an active lifestyle
- Good quality frozen food As surprising as it may sound, frozen foods are a handy way to help manage busy lifestyles.
As much as millennials enjoy cooking, they also enjoy casual fast food. Their desires and actions are contradicting regarding food. Concerned about making enough money, they spend more on food than any previous generations. They are more adventurous than their parents, yet picky about their food. If they are concerned about excessive intake of sugar, they are alright with the intake of carbs. As much as they are obsessed with a healthy lifestyle, no generation has been this overweight.